Friday 17 September 2010

Hedgerow harvest

The hedgerows are abundant at this time of year, although I rarely see other people out picking. There is a profusion of different berries and nuts.

When our children were young I made rosehip syrup, as my parents had done when I was a child. My father gathered the hips and mother did the cooking. They made it because the bright red syrup was prized for its high vitamin C content. The recipe was provided by the Ministry of Food during WW2.

Rosehip Syrup.

4 and a half pints boiling water
2lbs rosehips, mashed/minced
1lb sugar

Add the mashed hips to 3 pints of the boiling water in a saucepan, bring back to the boil, stir then leave for 15 minutes before straining through a jelly bag.
Return liquid to the saucepan and add remaining boiling water, bring back to the boil again, rest and strain.
Add sugar to the remaining liquid in a clean pan and rapid boil for 5 minutes.
Pour into small, hot, sterile bottles and seal immediately. (Small bottles are best because the syrup will not keep for long once opened.)

My neighbours have been busy,  in competition with the squirrels, picking hazelnuts in their boundary hedge.

They gave me this basket of nuts, which I shall ripen in the warmth of the kitchen before storing.

The windy weather earlier this week has resulted in a load of windfalls -

 I am slicing apples for Britain!

I've made tray bakes of 


6oz sugar
 6oz margarine
12oz flour
3 eggs beaten with 6 tablespoons of milk and 2 teaspoons vanilla essence.

Cream sugar and margarine, add flour and egg mixture to make a soft consistency. Press in sliced apple segments and bake for half an hour in a moderate oven.
makes 24 portions.

 which I freeze in small batches. It thaws out quickly if anyone drops by for a cup of tea.

Need I add that it's good with whipped cream!

Wood carvings by Peter Murphy.


  1. What a beautiful set of harvest carvings by Peter. I love the berries and crow plaque in particular. And your crafting of the apfelkuchen is equally exquisite only you've carved your servings too small! I don't think I've ever seen apples that have blushed flesh.

  2. Behave yourself, Urban Cottage - those servings are a good size! The apples are 'Discovery" variety and they taste delicious. The carvings were commissioned to be used as a set of autumn postage stamps.

  3. I will be round for a cup of tea very soon as the cake looks delicious! We were out picking blackberries and slow berries on monday. Slow gin has been made ready for christmas, and blackberry crumble has been eaten.

  4. And Kim, we shall be round at Christmas for some sloe gin!

  5. I am feeling a bit slow today, sloe berries not slow!!! he he.